New International Version
If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law.
King James Bible
For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
Darby Bible Translation
If then indeed he were upon earth, he would not even be a priest, there being those who offer the gifts according to the law,
World English Bible
For if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, seeing there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law;
Young's Literal Translation
for if, indeed, he were upon earth, he would not be a priest -- (there being the priests who are offering according to the law, the gifts,
Hebrews 8:4 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For if he were on earth - As the Jewish temple was standing when this epistle was written, the whole temple service continued to be performed by the legal priests, descendants of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi; therefore if Christ had been then on earth, he could not have performed the office of a priest, being of the tribe of Judah, to which tribe the office of the priesthood did not appertain.
There are priests that offer gifts - This is an additional proof that this epistle was written before the destruction of Jerusalem. As the word θυσιαι, sacrifices, is not added here as it is in Hebrews 8:3, is it any evidence that bloody sacrifices had then ceased to be offered? Or, are both kinds included in the word δωρα, gifts? But is δωρον, a gift, ever used to express a bloody sacrifice? I believe the Septuagint never used it for זבח zebach, which signifies an animal offered to God in sacrifice.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
there are priests. or, they are priests. gifts. [Doron,] gifts, or offerings, comprehended propitiatory sacrifices as well as freewill-offerings.
LibraryChrist Our Mediator. --Continued.
"But now hath he [Christ] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises" (Heb. viii. 6). Having considered Christ's preparatory work, His earthly mission, we wish now to consider His office and work as mediator between God and men. Christ sought no additional honor because of His message to men and suffering on their account. On the contrary, He prayed: "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, …
Frank G. Allen—Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel
God in the Covenant
Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer.
This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
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